CVS Health on Monday announced it is opening a COVID-19 drive-through testing center in Atlanta that can provide patients results within minutes.
CVS said in a news release the site at Georgia Tech will be capable of testing up to 1,000 people per day, but patients must be pre-registered and have a scheduled appointment. Tests are being administered only for patient who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Patients can pre-register online at CVS.com. The tests will be made available free to all patients who receive registration, regardless of insurance status.
Dr. Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS, said the Georgia Tech testing site will operate five drive-through lanes. The company is deploying Abbott ID Now testing devices that can return results within minutes.
“The important thing is that people will find out now rather than in three, four, five, six, seven days from now the results of the tests,” Brennan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A national shortage of kits and other testing supplies and lab processing capacity has resulted in rationing of coronavirus tests throughout Georgia and across the U.S. Long delays in processing tests have obscured the view of the virus’ march in Georgia and other parts of the country.
Georgia has lagged most other states on a per capita basis in testing for the coronavirus, though testing has increased in recent weeks with the establishment of drive-through centers and the state’s acquisition of additional testing supplies.
» COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS IN GEORGIA
As of Sunday night, 27,832 tests of Georgians had been processed through the public and private labs, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Last week, Gov. Brian Kemp announced a partnership between the state, the University System of Georgia and Emory University to dramatically ramp up testing. In the days ahead, the governor’s office said, the state’s public health lab and labs at Augusta University, Emory and Georgia State will be capable of processing 3,000 coronavirus tests per day.
"Increased access to rapid testing remains one of our top priorities in order to identify more cases, get Georgians the care they need, and prevent further infection in our communities," Kemp said in the release.
The Georgia Tech center is housed in a parking garage at 352 Peachtree Place. It will be open seven days a week. It will be open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
CVS plans to unveil several large-scale sites in other states and eventually establish smaller testing centers, Brennan said.
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